Chris Goulding of Melbourne United in action.
Chris Goulding of Melbourne United in action. JOE CASTRO

United pins hopes on new import for Taipans clash

BASKETBALL: Melbourne United is hoping the arrival of American import Casper Ware can kick-start the side's stalling NBL season.

Anchored to the bottom of the ladder, United takes on Cairns tonight at Hisense Arena with the former NBA guard to debut.

Ware, who has had stints with the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers, replaces the recently released Cedric Jackson as the team's third and final import.

"He's got a great background and I think he is a guy who can really score and is unselfish at the same time,” United coach Dean Demopoulos said

"He also has commitment to playing defence, so I think all those things combined will gain him the respect of the Australian fans and, of course, the players.

"We need his juice right now and he's going to bring it.”

While Ware is a certain starter after only arriving in the country on Monday, the hosts are sweating on the availability of Todd Blanchfield (groin) and Chris Goulding (ankle) against the Taipans, who are led by former Melbourne star and Boomer Mark Worthington.

Goulding is hopeful of returning after a month on the sidelines.

"We've got to be aggressive from the get-go and we've got to trust in our players and our offensive system,” he said.

"If we get a nice open shot early in the shot count, we won't be afraid to shoot it.

"Especially with Casper coming in, I think we play a little bit more of an up-tempo game, but we'll be working hard to get some quality looks.”

Tonight: Breakers v Hawks 4.40pm; United v Taipans 6.30pm (times AEST)